Guided Pathways to Success

The number students who graduate after enrolling for collegecontinues to decline according to national statistics. About half ofthose who attend a four-year course on a full-time basis successfullymanage to graduate. The situation is made worse as those who graduatedo so for a prolonged period than the stipulated time as only ahandful graduate on time (Andrew et al.). The increase in the numberof those who fail to make it to graduate negates the need to come upwith a channel through which the college students can follow tosucceed through the duration of the time. Guided pathways to successis suggested as the most appropriate channel through which thestudents can work towards attaining their educational goals (Brendan,et al.). GPS enforces a framework that is applied to assist studentsin completing their education in time while at the same timeachieving the best grades. The framework provided by the GPSidentifies the challenges amongst Americans in their way of thinkingregarding education. In understanding the concept better, anannotated bibliography of the same would be conducted to get theperspective of different researchers on the topic.

Annotated Bibliography

Jones, Stan.&quotThe Game Changers: Strategies to Boost College Completion andClose

AttainmentGaps.&quot Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning47.2 (2015): 24-29.

Jones identifies that approximately half of the entire students whoenroll for college education successfully graduate. Because of thesame, the researcher states that the failure in many of the Americanstudents to complete education creates a gap in the skill sector.Such is a potential threat to the American system owing to the lackof personnel qualified enough to meet the needs of a particular job.Jones further states that there are problems that need to beaddressed before employing the GPS strategy to solving the issues ofa college education. The first problem identified regards the issueof remedial classes that have not been designed in an appropriateway. Further, there is the matter of a rewarding scheme whereparticular centers of learning are rewarded for the number ofstudents that they have been able to enroll instead of focusing onthose who have completed. Also, the author evaluates the issueregarding choices students make when it comes to the courses thatthey will be pursuing. According to the author, those who choosecourses that are not appealing to them end up regretting and lose themorale when it comes to working towards completing their academics.Finally, Jones identifies that there is no program in place thatassists students in balancing between academic life, work, andfamily. For the same reason, those who fail to balance the three endsuccessfully up not completing their education. The insights providedby the researcher are crucial in helping find ways through which GPScan serve as a framework to assist many students who complete theireducation. Various factors have been suggested by the author when itcomes to the guiding of the students graduate. The strategies includeperformance funding, structured schedules, co-requisite remedial andguided pathways.

Bailey, ThomasR., Shanna Jaggars, and Paul Davis Jenkins. &quotWhat We Know About

Guided Pathways.&quot (2015).

Bailey, Shanna and Paul evaluate ways through which students can beassisted to complete their college education. The researchers focuson the need to have a map of the particular courses they wish toundertake and work towards completion of the same. However, in doingso, it is crucial that the students receive guidance and support thatwill assist them to stay on the course of the plan toward completion.In providing a guide towards the successful completion of a collegeeducation, the researchers seek to evaluate problems that could beattributed to the lack of graduation by the students. The first issueis the fact that many of them have been tasked with the mandate ofchoosing from among many courses that have been disconnected. Throughthe same, it has been impossible for the students to attain thecredentials for the achievement of their educational goals.Specifically, there is the issue of programs that have been andsupport services revolving around the particular courses. Bailey etal. acknowledge that there is a lack of a clear guideline when itcomes to how students can be assisted to deal with the issue ofselection of programs that they would undertake in college.Eventually, those who take courses that they had little or nointerest with end up not completing their college education. Further,the researchers acknowledge that the students who end up making poordecisions when it comes to the programs they enter and the coursesthey undertake have a high likelihood of dropping out of college. Theresearchers offer the option of employing a clear road map to helpthe students in attaining their educational goals.

Percival,Jennifer, et al. &quotExploring factors facilitating and hinderingcollege-university

PathwayProgram completion.&quot International Journal ofEducational Management

30.1 (2016):20-42.

Jennifer et al. identify the crucial need to have students joinpathway programs as a way of facilitating their completion of collegeeducation. In a study conducted by the scientists, the researchersfound out that the students who had access to pathway programs wereat a greater advantage of completing their education compared tothose who went through the full four-year academic program. Such is areflection of the need to have the American system of education adoptthe use of a pathway program that seeks to assist the students inachieving their academic quest. However, the researchers furtherelaborate that different factors play a crucial role when it comes tothe inability of the students to complete a college education.Specifically, the scientists acknowledge that sociocultural factorshave a vital role when it comes to the ability of the students toattain their academic goals. As a way of dealing with the issue ofincrease in the number of students who fail to complete their collegeeducation, there is a need to address the prohibiting factors.Further, Jennifer et al. suggest that a communication plan is helpfulwhen it comes to assisting the students to achieve their goals inacademics. According to the researchers, the application of thecommunication program that serves to address needs of the studentswhen it comes to academic performance. The researchers state thatthere is a need to have a program that helps the students understandthe need to complete their college education. Jennifer et al.postulate that there is a need to have the pathway programsintegrated into the American educational system as a way of assistingthe students to improve their performance and eventual completion ofeducation.

Hillman,Michel, et al. &quotSuccessful Student Transfer: A Key BuildingBlock of the

CompletionAgenda.&quot Western Interstate Commission for HigherEducation (2014).

Michel et al. identify the need for the United States to embracereforms in the educational set up. Such sentiments emanate from thefact that there is a decrease in the overall rate of productivity inthe American institutions when it comes to the release of studentswho have completed their degrees. According to the researchers, thereis data pointing to the fact that the United States is lagging behindwhen it comes to level production especially for courses related toscience, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Researchers haveopted to come up with strategies that seek to increase the number ofthose who graduate upon enrollment to institutions of higherlearning. The approach termed “completion agenda” has beeninstituted as a way of increasing the number of those who completetheir studies. Michele et al. identify the need to produce graduatesfrom high school who are willing to pursue a college education tocompletion. Further, they emphasize the need to introduce strategiesthat increase the number of those who advance through collegeeducation to graduation. As a guided pathway to success, theresearchers suggest the application of modification of the transfermethods to help in assisting students to complete their collegeeducation. Further, the paper acknowledges the meeting of educationreform leaders and their deliberations on the need to transform thesystem of a college education. Further, the emphasis has been put onensuring that the quality of education is improved as a way ofencouraging the performance of students to guide them in attainingtheir goals. The research is of critical significance when it comesto the issue of providing insights into the concept of guidedpathways to success as a way of helping the students attain theiracademic goals. It looks at the problems affecting the ability of thestudents to complete their education and provides solutions towardsthe same.

Scott-Clayton,Judith. &quotThe Shapeless River.&quot Decision Makingfor Student Success:

BehavioralInsights to Improve College Access and Persistence (2015):102.

Scott-Clayton acknowledges the crucial role played by the communitycolleges when it comes to facilitating the acquisition of skills bystudents. According to Scott-Clayton, out of the one hundred studentswho join college, only sixteen of them successfully end up completinga college education. Problems identified by the researcher for lackof completion of education include factors to do with funding andform of teaching as pertains to remedial lessons. For the samereason, it becomes mandatory that such factors be identified, andpotential solutions for them brought forth. Further, Claytonidentifies that there is a lack of a formal structure or pathwaysthat can be employed to guide the students in completing theircollege education from the time they join. According to Clayton,finding a path is the first step towards assisting the students whenit comes to ensuring that the students attain their academic goals.For many of the students, the lack of a proper framework makes itdifficult for the students to complete their college educationsuccessfully. The paper is significant for use because of theapproach it gives when it comes to the issue of completion of collegeeducation. The researcher states that there are problems in theeducation sector that have significantly affected the ability of thestudents to complete college after enrollment. A proper frameworkshould be laid down to help the individual students complete collegeeducation.


Education continues to play a crucial role when it comes to theadvancement of knowledge and skills to students. However, there isneed to worry about the number of students who fail to completeeducation. Many of those who enroll in college are unable to completeeducation and in most cases drop out. It is an issue that should bedealt with, owing to the fundamental part that education has to playwhen it comes to a particular countries economic progress. The UnitedStates has particularly witnessed an overall decline in the number ofstudents who complete their education. The effect of the same is thatthe country risks a state where few individuals have the skill set toundertake jobs that have been given to them. A shortage of labor islikely to be experienced. The reason for the same is that those whoare supposed to fill various positions in the employment sector donot have the educational qualifications for the same. The inabilityto address the situation in time has the effect of reducing theoverall number of students who end up completing their collegeeducation. The risk of the number of those failing to graduate fromcollege has detrimental effects on America.

Various problems are affecting the ability of students to completetheir education. Notably, there is the concept of guidance to thestudents after they have enrolled in college. Many students fail toget academic advice that will see to it that they are assisted incompleting their education. Many institutions of higher learning havefocused on enrolling a greater number of students at the expense ofproviding quality education to them. Instead of accompanying thecourses with academic counsel, the focus has been made on the numberof those who are enrolled. Little thought is put on the number ofthose who graduate with the courses they have been admitted for. Forexample, some of the students who are admitted to particular coursesdo so without the knowledge of what the course entails. As theyprogress with their studies, they come to realize that the coursethey enrolled for was not appropriate for them. Some contemplateswitching to other courses at advanced stages of their learning. Ifit turns out that the move to change to other courses is notsuccessful, the effect would be that they get discouraged and fail towork hard to attain their academic potential.

The lack of a guided pathway to college education continues to hinderthe students from completing their college education. It is essentialthat the educators switch from delivery of content only to academiccounseling. It is through such measures that the educators will bewell placed to determine some of the problems that are affecting thestudents. As stated, various factors could be playing a crucial rolein the ability of the students to accomplish their academic goals.Unfortunately, there is a lack of a guided pathway to success wherestudents can be assisted in dealing with the challenges they face asthey undertake college education. The lack of the same is a problemamong institutions of higher learning. The shift of focus on teachingmay serve as the best way to help the students complete theireducation. Through the same, it will be possible to eliminate thecases of lack of completion of college education.


The paper aims at providing a roadmap through which students whoenroll for a college education. provides aframework through which the students can be assisted to accomplishtheir education. The strategy entails the identification of theproblems leading to the failure of students to achieve a collegeeducation. In addressing the situation, GPS has sought differentmeasures that facilitate the student’s completion of collegeeducation.

GPS provides a design through which the students can be assisted tomake informed decisions and deliberate on the choices they wish tomake regarding a course of study. There is a need for students to behelped evaluate the individual courses they are undertaking so thatthey get to end up studying in a field that is in their bestinterest. Students who end up pursuing a course that is in their bestinterest have a greater advantage when it comes to chances ofcompleting their college education. It emanates from the fact thatthe students learn to focus on the individual courses of their choiceleading to high performance.

GPS suggests the need for the application of intrusive advising forthe students. It is mandatory that the students get to see theiracademic advisors before they register for a particular course. Theadvisors will be helpful when it comes to assisting the students tolearn the different components of a given course and what would beexpected of them. After registering for the particular course, itwould be possible for them to focus on the individual requirements ofthe course resulting in them performing better. Eventually, thenumber of those who enroll are likely to complete their collegeeducation.

Further, GPS elaborates the need to have states take the initiativeof coming up with strategies that seek to increase completion levelsamong college going students. States should take the initiative ofaddressing the challenges and obstacles that play the role when itcomes to hindering students from completing education. Through theapplication of guided pathways, it would be possible to eliminate thechallenges while at the same time accelerating progress in academicwork. Through the guided pathways, students who have the choice onwhich course they should study are in a better place to give studentsa greater chance of excelling. Cases of drop outs from school areeliminated as the students choose a major at an earlier stage makingthem attain good grades.


Guided pathways to success serve to make students understand how theycan effectively progress via their program. Further, the amount oftime that they spend is average on a particular course. The sameshould serve to see to it that the students do not stay longer in agiven course than is expected. Further, with an average limit ofcredits the students choose to undertake, it would be possible to seeto it that the students can focus on their academics and make thebest out of it. However, it is crucial that states and theinstitutions of higher learning support and come up with incentivesthat facilitate the introduction of innovative ways of learning forstudents. The framework provided by the guided pathways should helpin enhancing the completion of college by the students. The number ofAmerican students who drop out of college should be able to decreaseif the channels provided for by GPS are followed. Further, allstakeholders involved should combine efforts and share ideas when itcomes to helping encourage students who enroll for college educationcomplete their studies.

Works Cited

Bailey, ThomasR., Shanna Jaggars, and Paul Davis Jenkins. &quotWhat We Know About

Guided Pathways.&quot (2015).

Hillman, Michel,et al. &quotSuccessful Student Transfer: A Key Building Block of the

CompletionAgenda.&quot Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education(2014).

Jones, Stan. &quotTheGame Changers: Strategies to Boost College Completion and Close

AttainmentGaps.&quot Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning 47.2(2015): 24-29.

Koch, Andrew K., etal. &quotAdvising and the Completion Agenda: Key Voices in HigherEducation

Web Event Handout.&quot

Mumey, Brendan, etal. &quotFinding Pathways to Student Success from Data.&quot

Percival,Jennifer, et al. &quotExploring factors facilitating and hinderingcollege-university

Pathway Programcompletion.&quot International Journal of Educational Management

30.1 (2016):20-42.

Scott-Clayton,Judith. &quotThe Shapeless River.&quot Decision Making forStudent Success:

BehavioralInsights to Improve College Access and Persistence (2015): 102.